After the Dali museum, we made our way back to France and stayed in our first ‘aire’ for months. Spain didn’t have aires, so it’s nice to have the option to stay in them again, which is a good thing as we are well over budget and need to get back on track, and aires are generally free or only a few euros.
The first aire we stayed in was on the outskirts of ‘Peyriac de Mer’, a quiet village set in marsh land. Usually when we get to an aire me and the boys go for an explore whilst Beth makes dinner, but Alf fancied staying in this time so only me and Tom went out.
There were public footpaths through the marsh and boardwalks over the low water, so we could walk far out and round the small islands. The place was magical and I totally fell in love with it. As with our previous stays in France, the sunset was like a painting, all reds and oranges. Tom was full of his usual questions ‘how does this work?’, ‘Where does that come from?’, ‘How long would it take to fly to the sun?’. He was fearless over the board walks as I was more careful with my steps, and he had the care-freeness about him which you only get in kids of his age. Nothing mattered to him apart from this very moment, here and now. I wonder at what point we lose that and start worrying about tomorrow and the regrets of yesteryear, or worry about what friends and colleagues think of us?
We walked all the way through the marshes to the edge of the village, just in time really as it was now getting too dark to see and the street lights were just coming on. In the village play park Tom attempted the monkey bars, but they were too wet to grip, so we decided to walk back to the van. We walked back on a single track lane under the soft glow of the orange lights and a faint drizzle of rain. The lane was more a large path really, just big enough for one vehicle and it curved through the fields to the aire. As we walked and talked we were joined by a chorus of frogs. It was a truly magical night and the best welcome we could have hoped for on our return to France. It felt nice being with Tom, lost in the moment without a concept of time.
I have had many fun(ny) days with Tom and enjoyed watching him become the boy he is, but I think this evening has been the nicest to date.
‘Dad, who was the first ever werewolf?’